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Colombo bourse started weekly operations after Christmas break with negative returns on Monday. Investor participation continued to decline marking another lackluster trading session and the volume reached 21 month low of 4.8mn shares.

Benchmark index advanced to 6,859 mark during the opening hours but failed to maintain the optimistic momentum to close lower at 6,828.51, losing 30.13 index points or 0.44%. 20-scrip S&P SL index declined by 15.26 index points or 0.42% to end at 3,588.64.

Today’s losses were driven by price declines in high caps namely, Sri Lanka Telecom (closed at LKR 46.90, -1.1%), People’s Leasing & Finance (closed at LKR 22.00, -3.5%) and Hemas Holdings (closed at LKR 90.00, -2.4%).

Daily market turnover was LKR 354mn. Hatton National Bank (LKR 211mn) managed to grab 60% of the turnover, subsequent to a single off-the-floor dealing of 1.0mn shares at LKR 210.00. Commercial Bank (LKR 25mn), John Keells Holdings (LKR 21mn) and Distilleries (LKR 14mn) were next best contributors to the turnover.

Losers offset the gainers, 90 to 72, while 48 scripts remained unchanged. Cash map marginally declined from 46% to 44%. 19 counters dropped to 52wk low prices while only Kelani Cables managed to reach 52wk high price of LKR 132.00, +1.5%.

Several banks & finance companies namely, Commercial Bank, Sanasa Development Bank, People’s Leasing & Finance witnessed high investor activity. Further, several blue chips such as, Aitken Spence (LKR 92.00), Chevron Lubricants (LKR 346.00) and National Development Bank (LKR 187.00) declined to 52wk low prices.

Meanwhile, right shares of Colombo Trust Finance started trading today and advanced to LKR 1.00 but closed below at LKR 0.60. Company intends to raise LKR 116.3mn in order to increase the working capital to comply with CBSL regulations. Moreover, Autodrome announced that the company will increase the issued number of shares by way of a sub-division of shares in the ratio of 10 ordinary shares for every 01 existing ordinary share.

Foreign investors were net sellers for the sixth consecutive day with a net foreign outflow of LKR 31mn. Foreign participation was 74%. Net foreign outflows were seen in Commercial Bank (LKR 24mn), Nestle Lanka (LKR 12mn), Distilleries (LKR 1mn) while net foreign inflow was mainly seen in Hatton National Bank non-voting (LKR 5mn).